Saturday, August 15, 2009

Government Health Care

The United States of America was founded as a Constitutional Federal Republic composed of a limited federal government and sovereign states. The American Republic died on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Virginia due to Socialist President Abraham Lincoln and the Union army.

It has taken 150 years for the tentacles of Socialism to expand from mild to advanced and into every facet of daily American life and into every corner of our billfold or pocket book. America's current Socialist president Barack Obama and his "Comrades" are attempting a total government takeover of health care. The government's initial step in attempting to create a government run healthcare monopoly has been to propose a law that would eventually drive the private health industry out of existence. Additional taxes and mandated costs are to be imposed on health insurance companies and a government-run health insurance bureaucracy will be created to compete with private companies. It would be difficult to compete with a rival who has all of it's capital and operating costs paid out of tax dollars. Whenever government "competes" with the private sector, it makes sure that the competition is grossly unfair, piling costly regulations and taxes on the private sector and exempting itself.

Nobel-Laureate economist Milton Friedman studied the history of healthcare supply in America. His study was published in 1992. It noted that in 1910 56% of hospitals were privately run and for profit. After 60 years of subsidies for government run hospitals the number of private facilities had fallen to 10%. By 1990 the takeover was nearly complete. Friedman's key conclusion was that, as with all governmental bureaucratic systems, government owned or controlled healthcare created a situation where increased "inputs" such as expenditures on equipment, infrastructure, and salaries led to decreased "outputs" in quality of medical care. From 1944 to 1989 Cost per patient-day rose 24 fold.

The more money that has been spent on government run healthcare, the less healthcare we have gotten. This result is true of all government bureaucracies because of the absence of market feedback mechanisms. In government there is no mechanism for rewarding good performance and penalizing bad. The opposite is generally true and bad performance is usually rewarded with larger budgets. Examples-Failure to reduce poverty and failure of government schools to educate children leads to larger budgets for welfare bureaucracies and schools.

Costs always explode whenever the government gets involved and governments always lie about it. The Obama regime's claim that a government takeover of healthcare will somehow magically reduce costs should not be taken seriously. All government-run healthcare monopolies, whether in Canada, the UK, or Cuba experience an explosion of both costs and demand since healthcare is "free". Socialized healthcare is not really free since it is paid for by taxes. Government never ever reduces the cost of anything.

If the government takeover comes to pass, costs will get out of control and begin to embarrass the politicians who have promised all Americans free healthcare. They will do what all governments do-impose price controls. This causes shortages to occur and rationing becomes necessary. This means that government bureaucrats, not individuals and their doctors, determine who will get medical treatment and who will not as well as what medical technology will be available and how many doctors there will be and so forth.

All countries that have adopted socialized healthcare have suffered from price-control induced shortages. If a Canadian, for instance, suffers third degree burns in an auto crash and is in need of reconstructive plastic surgery the average waiting time is nearly 5 months. Heart surgery for clogged arteries requires a month wait with death by heart attack an imminent possibility. In Toronto, 23 of 25 hospitals turned away ambulances in a single day because of a shortage of doctors. At least 1000 Canadian doctors and many thousands of nurses have migrated to America. James Brooke, in his New York Times article "Full Hospitals Make Canadians Wait And Look South" stated "Few Canadians Would Recommend Socialized Healthcare".

James W. King
Past Commander
Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 141
Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson
Albany Georgia


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